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Prevention and dental care in dogs

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Posted on October 07 2018

As soon as your puppy arrives at home, take care of his oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth regularly prevents tartar formation, but also serious health problems.

What is tartar?

Unlike humans, dog saliva is less acidic. As meals progress, bacteria accumulate more easily on the surface of the teeth. They form a slight orange film on the teeth of your pet.

This film can easily be removed with regular brushing of the teeth . On the other hand, if you let it develop without taking care of your dog companion, it will be what is called dental plaque .

Over time, it mineralizes and extends under the gum to form scale . This extension can result in:
  • a gingivitis (gum inflammation)
  • of bleeding gums when taking meals
  • of oral infections
  • the abscess may lead to a decrease in appetite. The bone supporting the tooth is then attacked, which can cause their fall when the animal ages.

Tartar settles first on the bottom teeth (molars, premolars) before attaching to the fangs. He is also responsible for the bad breath of the dog .

These germs, present in the mouth of your animal, can spread in the blood and set dangerously on different organs, such as the heart or kidneys. Indeed, they can develop serious diseases in the elderly animal, such as heart or kidney failure.

Equipment to prevent scale formation

For the good oral hygiene of your dog, you need:

  • a toothbrush soft bristle brush or a specialist for dogs.
  • a fingerstall (rubber cap with asperities to put on the finger).
  • a toothpaste specific to dogs , where the tastes are adapted to those of the animal (chicken or beef), and which does not require any rinsing.

Do not use the toothpaste you use for yourself. It is unsuitable and toxic for your dog due to the presence of fluoride.

When to start brushing your teeth?

Teach your puppy early to be manipulated and, in particular, to have his teeth brushed. For a start, get used to the taste of toothpaste before massaging the gums with your finger.

You can also use the fingerstall to acclimatize to having a toothbrush in the mouth. Little by little, you can teach him to open the mouth and succeed in brushing the inside of the mouth. However, you can totally teach an adult dog to be brushed while being a matter of patience.

Technique for brushing teeth

In order to make handling easier , we advise you to brush your pet's teeth as soon as it is calm. You can, for example, rub them after a walk.

For the safety of your companion, wash your hands and check that your nails are cut short before any intervention. Then, install it in height to better see what you are doing. Approach him from behind, place one hand on top of his muzzle and lift his lips . Then, with the other hand, clean the teeth of your canine companion.

To do this, take either a toothbrush or a fingerstall and put a dab of toothpaste. Next, make circular motions on the outer surface of the teeth , insisting on the junction between the gum and the tooth (place of formation of the plate). Brush his canines and incisors, not to mention the teeth at the bottom of his mouth (molars and premolars).

How often should I wash my dog's teeth?

Brush your dog's teeth at least 2 to 3 times a week , although the best thing is to wash them every day. This regularity allows to evacuate the dental plaque and to avoid the periodontal disease. These sessions must be very short. In fact, gradually increase the duration, until you reach 2 minutes.

Scaling                   

If the tartar is well anchored , brushing your teeth will be useless until your pet has descaled. This act is a painless procedure performed by your veterinarian, where the animal is placed under general anesthesia . It is performed using ultrasound devices , comparable to those used by our dentists. Sometimes tooth extraction is necessary.

Predispositions

Some breeds of dogs are more prone to develop tartar compared to others. Notably, small and medium-sized breeds , such as Chihuahuas, Poodles, Yorkshires, Pekingers, Shih-Tzu or Cockers.

Other factors predisposing to scale formation are:
  • age
  • food (especially if it is wet)
  • lack of maintenance (brushing, food supplements, etc.)
  • this can limit chewing (fractures of the mandible, gingivitis, etc.)

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